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IT leader’s guide to edge computing

Originally Published:
Apr 2018

Companies of all sizes and across various industries are moving to edge computing to generate, collect, and analyze data so they can take immediate action on that information. This guide looks at the pros and cons of edge computing and how its real-world usage has been working out.

From the ebook:

Edge computing is computing resources (e.g., servers, storage, software, and network connections) that are deployed at the edges of the enterprise. For most organizations, this requires a decentralization of computing resources so some of these resources are moved away from central data centers and directly into remote facilities, such as offices, retail outlets, clinics, and factories.

Some IT professionals might argue that edge computing is not that different from traditional distributed computing, which saw computing power move out of the data center and into business departments and offices several decades ago. Edge computing is different because of the way it’s tethered to IoT data that is collected from remote sensors, smartphones, tablets, and machines. This data must be analyzed and reported on in real time so its outcomes are immediately actionable for personnel at the site.

IT teams in every industry use edge computing to monitor network security and to report on malware and/or viruses. When a breach is detected at the edge, the threats can be quarantined, thereby preventing a compromise of the entire enterprise network.

From a business standpoint, here is how various industries use edge computing:

  • Corporate facilities managers use IoT and edge computing to monitor the environmental settings and the security of their buildings.
  • Semiconductor and electronics manufacturers use IoT and edge computing to monitor chip quality throughout the manufacturing process.
  • Grocery stores monitor their cold chains to ensure that perishable food requiring specific humidity and temperature levels during storage and transport are maintained at those levels.
  • Mining companies deploy edge computing with IoT sensors on trucks to track the vehicles as they enter remote areas. These companies also use edge computing to monitor equipment on the trucks in an attempt to prevent goods in transit from being stolen for resale in the black market.

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